Create a Social Media Plan in 5 Steps
If you're already knee deep in social media designs, channels, and analytics and it's getting out of control, you've come to the right place. No pressure, but a social media plan can make or break your efforts on social media. Here's why.
Why is a Social Media Plan important?
The last thing you should do is to make a social media plan just because everyone else is doing it. So let's discuss the big WHY briefly. Why do you even need a social media plan.
⌛ It saves you tons of time
Knowing what to post every day and having the content ready to post saves you the time it takes to think of good content, create it, and then post or schedule it.
If you're a business owner or look after other aspects of the business too, time you'll free up with a working social plan, can be invested where you need to invest it.
💰It saves your business money
A good social media plan will fulfil business objectives on autopilot, make it easier to build brand awareness, and attract visitors to your digital properties, and drive revenue.
📈 It allows you to improve
A social media plan puts on paper what you're currently doing on social media. How is this important? The social media plan is a visual aid for you. A month from now or two, if you see that something is not working, you can take a look at your plan and know exactly what to stop doing.
💪It makes your efforts count
When you use a social media plan, everything you post becomes meaningful. You know why you posted a picture of your workplace, or an infographic (that you put a lot of time into).
Safe to say, it's the single most important exercise to do when working on your business social media. Let's discuss the 5 steps to take.
Step 1: Set your Objectives
Your objectives are the reason you are on social media as a business. It has to make business sense. As a business what are your most key objectives? Are you looking for an increase in revenue? Are you looking to grow your team? Do you want to reduce hiring costs? Do you want to make your marketing efforts more cost effective?
Choose your most important Objectives. At Willow, we break them down into these 4.
📢 Promote the brand
📞 Get leads
👩🏿 Attract future employees
🙌 Build an audience
Step 2: Set KPIs
Next, try to come up with KPIs based on those objectives. This will decide how you see the analytics later.
I don't want to drown you out in KPIs so here are a few common KPIs successful businesses focus on:
- Revenue generated
- Sales Conversion rate
- Followers & Growth Rate
- Traffic to your Website
- Engagement Rate
- Shares, Comments and Likes
- Clicks & Click-through Rate
Step 3: Define Content types
Your objectives define what type of content you should post on social media. For example, for getting leads, you could post about an e-book or a whitepaper that you're offering. Similarly, to attract new employees you could post a Workplace photo, or an Employee Testimonial.
Head on here to see a comprehensive list of content types for social media.
In Willow, this list is provided to you. This becomes the basis of your social media plan. More on that later.
You'll notice below each content type, the objective it helps you achieve. You should never lose sight of what's important.
Make sure each content type has very clear Calls-to-Action that encourage people to convert. So by the end of the month, you're looking at actual conversions rather than vanity metrics.
Step 4: Set Up your Calendar
You cannot simply throw the content types onto your calendar like you're freestyle cooking. You need a perfectly balanced recipe. You're going to thank yourself later for thinking this part through.
With your content types defined, you're close to the finish line. You just have to figure out how much of each content type you can post in a month. The 3-3-1 rule helps you do just that.
The 3-3-1 rule:
For every promotional content that you post in a month, you should post 3 original posts, and 3 curated posts.
- Promotional content promotes a service you provide or your business.
- Original posts can take the form of blogs that you create to help your audience, videos, helpful tips and tricks, AMAs etc.
- Curated posts use articles/blogs/videos from across the internet that are relevant to your industry and target audience. You can share them from your channel with just a caption, or completely repurpose it for your audience.
Then the next question you'll face is...
How frequently should you be posting?
Once a day might be too much, and once a week might be too less. But that depends on what you're posting, and how consistent you can be.
💡 Posting one long-form piece of content (like a blog or a video) a week is fine if you can combine it with 2-3 shorter, snappier pieces of content and some external articles in that same week.
💡 Creating great content that keeps you top-of-mind can help you get away with posting less frequently.
So in total, posting a variety of content 3-4 times a week can work well. (This can vary based on your particular audience, competitors, and the resources you have.)
When you're done, a well-balanced social media calendar might look something like:
Step 5: Create Templates
You're almost there. Your objectives are driving the plan and your content calendar is varied and well thought out. All you need to think about now is what your posts will actually look like.
Creating new posts from scratch every time can waste a lot of time and effort. If you're not already using Canva, now may be a good time to start.
For posts that get repeated, such as product highlights, customer testimonials, and quick tips, look up a design template in Canva, tweak the colors, and add your logo. When you have to schedule a post (or 10), all you have to do is change the text and pictures and bring them into your scheduler.
You're locked and loaded for (almost) anything social media will throw at you. You can now think about:
- Creating great content from this plan (check our step-by-step guide)
- Engaging with your community on social media
- Converting your social media audience into leads (check out these lead generation ideas we used)
Good luck! 😎